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Configuration advice
07-21-2014, 03:16 PM,
#1
Configuration advice
I've been away from this forum for a few years. I was here lurking and ready to build a work station for my wife. She became ill and had to drop from her academic pursuits...and I became preoccupied in many other ways. Before I gave up on the idea of a build I had already purchased the following items:

Seasonic 750W 80Plus Gold power supply.
Zalman Performa 10X Performa CPU cooler
Corsair 650D - initial fan problems supposedly solved by a supplimental kit they sent me in the mail.

So here I am with a Dell...purchased in 2003. It's crapping out and only starts in safe mode. It's been giving me progressively more problems and the HD is full as a tick on a healthy dog.

What I want to do is build something that is basically a home multimedia pc with the capability to easily run CS6 for times when my wife wants to be creative. I'm not a gamer...although I would never say never given enough free time.

My initial thoughts are to build kind of a Work Station/Gaming PC hybrid to replace my currently dead/dying system. Really, 99% of what I do is surf, read email...so most of this is way overkill...but I also like the idea of future proofing and having the graphic capabilities. So....

Here are my initial thoughts.

1. Use my Corsair 650D unless selling it is a better idea...perhaps getting more front panel USB 3.0 ports etc?
2. I don't need peripherals...monitor, keyboard, mouse etc.
3. I will want to configure a back up. This can be external at a later date or internal as a mirrored drive.
4. Maybe use the latest Intel i7 4790 chip? Super fast with hyperthreading. Don't want to mess with OC. Also not sure about what motherboard?
5. Start with 16Gb of RAM But would consider more.
6. Incorporate a Samsung EVO SSD (probably 120G) to use for Windows 7...still need to figure what does and does not get put on the SSD versus the HD.
7. Propably go with a 1TB HD. (my current system is 80G and full)
8. Buy an up to date CPU cooler
9. Add a Bluray player DVD burner
10. Add a video card capable of running CS6. (could be gaming or other)
11. Add an affordable audio card
12. And...should I add any fans to the 650D?
13. Finally....should I be considering anything else...smartcard readers, etc?

It should be said...this probably won't come cheap....I get totals of around $1300. Saving money would be nice but only if it doesn't take too much away. Am I way off base? Can I use the case and powers supply I already own?

It should be said also....I've never built a pc....am not feeling super confident and will be relying heavily on how-to sites like HR. If you're still with me....I would appreciate the help. Thanks!!!
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07-21-2014, 04:46 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-21-2014, 04:50 PM by Rapajez.)
#2
RE: Configuration advice
For the most part, you can work off of the latest mainstream gaming article, and cheap out on the GPU, as that will meet your needs for CS6. You would just want to upgrade to a "Z97" motherboard to use the latest i7 4790 CPU. Again, I'd go by the recommended motherboards in the article, only substitute "Z97", and check the reviews before you buy.

I'd keep your 650D, unless you're really missing out on some feature. I've used my front USB3.0 port exactly once...do you have a ton of USB 3.0 devices? Smile

If you want a good backup, it should probably be external. Internal has a chance of dying with the rest of the PC. Seagate has a nice series of thin cheap external drives, ("Backup+") which don't even require separate power.

i7 4790 is a nice buy, if you're going to use the hyper-threading, otherwise the i5-4690 will get the job done.

GTX 750Ti may be a good buy for a GPU. Cheap, quiet and efficient. You really don't need much for CS6 from what I've read. You could probably get away with an older 600-series if you can find one at discount. If you plan to game a lot, that's another story.

I'd go 240GB on the SSD, minimum. If you're going to save money from one of the areas above. Especially if she has a bunch of big projects to work off the SSD, and doesn't want to be cleaning/maintaining the drive all the time.

You could also skip the audio card, unless this is hooking up to some high-end entertainment center. You did mention it being a HTPC. In that case, again, refer to the mainstream gaming article.
GPU: NVIDIA Titan X, CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz OC'd @ 4.5GHz, Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4, Mem: 2x Corsair Dominator 2133MHz 8GB, SSD: Samsung 850 EVO, Case: Corsair Carbide 500R, PSU: Corsair TX850M, CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14, Case Fans: 4x Cooler Master Excalibur 120mm PWM, Monitors: 3x ViewSonic VX2270SMH-LED in NVIDIA Surround
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07-21-2014, 10:26 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-21-2014, 10:27 PM by Dan-H.)
#3
RE: Configuration advice
For starters, in comparison to your current system, even the low-end of the mainstream gaming systems will crush your current system which is at best a Pentium 4.

Since you have a nice power supply, and a decent case with good cooling I would keep them. The Zalman cooler looks decent, and is probably quieter than the OEM intel cooler. If you aren't overclocking it should be fine.

Here is an interesting article on CPUs and image processing.

http://us.hardware.info/reviews/5446/12/...toshop-cs6

If money is a concern, I'd go with a core i5 and invest more in the SSD and the graphics card. Or add about $100 and go with the core i7.

For example:
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.97 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI Z97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($92.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($139.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 270X 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($184.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($64.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1027.86

I would research the specific video card with the exact version of CS6 (if it photshop CS6 -- you should be fine).

I run CS6 on an older quad core with very low end AMD radeon card at work doing scripted photo conversions and it gets by just fine. It only has 8GB of memory and originally only had 4GB.

good luck !
CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.7Ghz Mobo: Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5 GPU: MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G HSF: Cryorig R1 Ultimate
Mem: 2 x 8GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3 2400 SSD: Samsung 850 Evo 500GB + a few spinners
PSU: Seasonic SS-760XP Platinum Case: Fractal Design Define R5 Monitors: 2 x Dell 2007FP 1600x1200
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07-22-2014, 01:55 AM,
#4
RE: Configuration advice
Wow...great replies! Thanks guys! This will give me a good start. I will take your recommendations and let them marinate.....and perhaps return with something right in the middle of what you recommend. I will plan to buy and build soon as I'm not digging the laptop as my home experience.

Again, I really appreciate the replies....and really like what I've read. Big Grin

PS. I will be sure to update this thread with my final list to make sure I don't do something stupid.

Btw....would the Zalman CPU cooler work with the new generation of chips? I figured that I would probably need to spring for the Cooler Master 212 EVO as I see it recommended in the gaming builds here on HR.
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07-22-2014, 09:02 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-22-2014, 09:06 AM by PwnBroker.)
#5
RE: Configuration advice
here is the whitepaper to CS6 with all of the recommended specs:

http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/e...epaper.pdf

each part has different recommendations, if you are going to be using after effects pay close attention to RAM requirements and multithreading to calculate your RAM needs. for instance in photo shop, 8 gig of RAM will probably do for most cases without a scratch disk but with after effects they recommend 4 gig for each core of the cpu. so for a 4 core cpu you will need 16gig and so on. to be optimized and get the best results CS6 is dependent on the amount of RAM and the number of storage disks you are using, and with video quality, those storage units are important.

as for the cooler, if it is compatible with the 1150 socket then you are good, if it is for the last gen socket then there may be an aftermarket mounting bracket for it.

good luck
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07-22-2014, 10:30 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-22-2014, 10:41 AM by andiron.)
#6
RE: Configuration advice
Good to know...thank you!

I thought more RAM might be advisable....I believe I read elsewhere that CS6 benefits from more RAM. So I had a suspicion..and figured it would help with rendering. Also, good to know about the Zalman cooler (although I think I would have been just as happy if someone said it wouldn't work)...I say this only because it was once recommended here on HR...then the rec changed to the Cooler Master for a little better and more quiet performance. Ultimately, if the Zalman is decent enough to work and I can use it...with or without adapter....then why let it go to waste? Thanks again!

PS. I just realized I may be going too far with the CS6 requirement. What I meant all along is Adobe Photoshop....which might change everyone's recommendations. Still, as I don't have the ability to know the future...a little more of a graphics leaning machine is what I'm interested in building. And as for games...I think the last pc game I played was Half Life 2...which was awesome....so today's games would probably blow me away.
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07-22-2014, 02:59 PM,
#7
RE: Configuration advice
you should be golden with something like Dan and Rap suggested with photoshop. that gpu dan recommended will be able to play the most demanding current game today like BF4 and crysis3 on high settings with good frame rates. that zalman cooler says that its compatilble with the 1150 socket but if for some reason it doesnt fit then the stock cooler will work just fine especially if no overclocking. for better multitasking and cpu overhead you could add 100 bucks more and go with an i7 that will last for several years to come, but not necessary.

good luck
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07-22-2014, 08:11 PM,
#8
RE: Configuration advice
andiron - can you find out exactly what version of Photoshop or Adobe CS you have.

If it is pretty old, consider upgrading. the new photoshop elements is pretty nice for $75 on amazon.

CS6 can be different things so knowing the exact product and version might be useful, but yes more memory will help especially if you have very large source images to work with (like raw photos).
CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.7Ghz Mobo: Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5 GPU: MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G HSF: Cryorig R1 Ultimate
Mem: 2 x 8GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3 2400 SSD: Samsung 850 Evo 500GB + a few spinners
PSU: Seasonic SS-760XP Platinum Case: Fractal Design Define R5 Monitors: 2 x Dell 2007FP 1600x1200
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07-22-2014, 11:55 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-23-2014, 12:03 AM by andiron.)
#9
RE: Configuration advice
(07-22-2014, 08:11 PM)Dan-H Wrote: andiron - can you find out exactly what version of Photoshop or Adobe CS you have.

If it is pretty old, consider upgrading. the new photoshop elements is pretty nice for $75 on amazon.

CS6 can be different things so knowing the exact product and version might be useful, but yes more memory will help especially if you have very large source images to work with (like raw photos).

Easy to answer this one...we have CS5 now. I was trying to future-proof a bit by saying CS6. It's all kind of arbitrary...nothing is etched in stone. When you consider that 95% of the machines use will be for mundane tasks such as surfing the web and checking email then it's easy to see this machine will be overkill. I'm more comfortable with overkill than wondering if I should have opted for a better ____.

Well, it's been a very hectic day...crazy busy at work....and so I haven't had time to dwell on the advice yet or to have come up with anything more concrete. I think I will be able run a configuration up the flag pole in the next few days. I can already tell that it will be super interesting to read all of your comments afterwards. Big Grin

(07-22-2014, 02:59 PM)PwnBroker Wrote: you should be golden with something like Dan and Rap suggested with photoshop. that gpu dan recommended will be able to play the most demanding current game today like BF4 and crysis3 on high settings with good frame rates. that zalman cooler says that its compatilble with the 1150 socket but if for some reason it doesnt fit then the stock cooler will work just fine especially if no overclocking. for better multitasking and cpu overhead you could add 100 bucks more and go with an i7 that will last for several years to come, but not necessary.

good luck

Thanks...I'm sure I will post here a bit more before I jump off into the build. Sounds like I can use the Zalman...thank you for the help. In any event...the cooler wasn't going to be a big disappointment like if my power supply was outdated. Yeah... I was just sure the Zalman was a goner...especially since we have had multiple changes since Sandy Bridge. Fwiw...I am already leaning towards the "i7" 4690....with an eye towards hyperthreading. Thanks!
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07-28-2014, 06:40 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-28-2014, 10:42 PM by andiron.)
#10
RE: Configuration advice
Okay, guys...here's the update....and a request for more help.

I spent a good portion of the day just trying to come up with a Z97 motherboard. I find myself drawn towards Asus motherboards...with MSI a close second. This is strictly based on reviews...both here on HR from a few years back to present...and on other sites. I don't plan to overclock...but the Asus bios sounds friendly and their build quality is reportedly solid and consistent. With this said...I couldn't be much more ignorant and expect to hear varying opinions. It will be intersting to see what you think of my initial choice.

In addition to the following partspicker link....I will be using my Corsair 650D case, Seasonic 750W 80+ Gold psu, and the Zalman 10X Performa CPU cooler.

The list...

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core $339.99

Motherboard: Asus Z97-PRO ATX LGA1150 $177.99

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 $159.99

Storage: 1. Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" SSD $129.99
2. Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM $79.98

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Superclocked ACX $241.40

Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer $64.98

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) $84.98

Sound Card: Creative Labs 70SB157000000 $27.99

The questions....

1. I put the i7-4790K on my list even though I don't plan to overclock. I did this because it appears faster out of the box for not much more than the i7-4790. Should I save the money and go with the locked version?

2. The motherboard is really a touch choice. I want reliability, versatility and am very ignorant. I just chose what I thought to be a good Asus board...and welcome alternatives...same brand or others.

3. I added a sound card. Again, this was arbitrary and based strictly on reviews. I wasn't sure if the on board sound was better with these new chips.

4. Other than changing motherboard and chip the only other item I think could be downgraded for savings would be the HD...from a 2T to 1T. This would probably be acceptable since I will also have the 250G SSD.

Finally, any recommendations would be welcome. Is there anything I should buy...cables (such as longer cables to route usb to the front panel, heat sink material to use with the cpu cooler...really anything I might be overlooking? I assume partspicker.com would tell me if I picked something that is incompatible....but as this is my first build I will take all the help I can get. Thanks!
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